Wednesday, May 09, 2018


What a good weekend for boating it was over the bank holiday.  Except It was a bit too hot perhaps, and our Peter (our intended crew / lock wheeler) had taken a fall and hurt his wrist, and Grants lock (the first below Banbury on our intended route) was shut for a repair and our car was not working. So we stayed at home where we had to keep Peter amused, and baby sit Grace for two nights when her Mum was working very late, and we had to look after Ronnie the dog and Biscuit the mouse.  The joys of family life eh?

It was a busted alternator on the car.  First the battery warning light kept coming on, then as I was driving it to the garage the instrument panel lit up like a Christmas tree, ABS warning, brake warning, power steering failure, the lot.  You don’t realise how much power steering helps until it stops working.  Still alternators do fail sometimes and it’s an easy fix, or it would be if the car designers had left room to get at it.  In the end the garage undid the engine mounts and jacked the engine up until there was space to get the alternator out.  It makes you eternally grateful for how simple and spacious most boat engine bays are.

The roof box is finished and ready to ship back out to Herbie.  Here you see the final touches, first the TV aerial pole mount, shown from underneath so you can see the little rectangular bracket that supports the end of the pole. 


Then Kath kindly modelled the box with it’s cover attached.  Note that the bungee chords stretch over the dark grey paint so they are less visible and don’t spoil the pattern.  Amazingly I did think of that before I started painting!  This time I threaded dowels along the edge seams to help hold the fabric out straight. That scruffy old board leaning on the wall is one of the box floor boards which are straight off the old box.  It is stiffened with battens on the side you can’t see here.  Note the pleasing yellow and brown patches on what we laughingly like to call our lawn.  It takes a lot of hard neglect to get an effect like that in the lushness of early spring.


This coming weekend is our annual Norfolk Broads sailing fiasco.  This time we have boats from a different boatyard so we’ll probably make even more of a hash of it than usual.  For the first time we will not have the drama of passing through Potter Heigham bridge which will be a relief at least. We’ll have to find some other way of getting in a fearful tangle and collapsing with exhaustion and blind panic as the tide sweeps us towards the miniscule hole in the ancient stone work.  No doubt opportunities will present themselves elsewhere.  There has been talk of going up the river Ant where the wind comes and goes at random strength and direction and the river is too narrow to do much tacking.  Masochists R Us.


Vallypee said...

What a pity on all fronts, Neil. Still, best to get all the bad stuff out of the way so cruising can get underway properly! Your box looks wonderful! Well done!

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

What a gorgeous roof box Neil. I love your explanations of how you built it as you went along. It reminded me so much of Les who absolutely loved his boat projects. I am so pleased for you and Kath that it turned out well, and glad to read you survived sailing without a splash overboard. Well done!

Jaq xxx